“I’m Paul Barlow, and this is my daughter Jo.”

“Malone.”

“You got a first name?”

“Yeah.”

Archive for October, 2012

StageFright

Wednesday, October 31st, 2012

STAGEFRIGHT (aka DELIRIA, or STAGEFRIGHT: AQUARIUS as the title screen says) is a very stylish slasher/giallo type deal from Michele Soavi, Dario Argento’s second unit director on TENEBRE and PHENOMENA who went on to be best known for directing CEMETERY MAN. This one is more obviously in the footsteps of his mentor than that one.

It begins in aggressive stylization, a big-haired model hanging out on a soundstage city street, suddenly strangled in an alley. But this is not real, these are all people working on some kind of avant garde musical or some shit like that. There’s an overbearing, pretentious director, a bunch of primadonna dancers and actors and choreographers, some stage tech types, etc. And of course somebody is unhappy with something so they all get locked onto the soundstage and murdered one by one. (read the rest of this shit…)

VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.

Dead in 3 Days (plus bonus mini-review: Lost Things)

Wednesday, October 31st, 2012

DEAD IN 3 DAYS is Austrian young people horror from 2006. The box art for the American release of it from Dimension Extreme makes a big deal about how a group of teens all get the same text message saying they’ll be dead in 3 days, so I thought maybe it was gonna be influenced by the Japanese phone related pictures such as THE RING and ONE MISSED CALL. Instead it’s a very solid whodunit slasher with alot of subtle distinctness in the ways it handles material that seems generic on the surface.

I don’t know if this is on purpose, but the basic themes are set up in a meta kind of way in the opening, because of the way it resembles the opening of A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET. The hands of an unseen man are building something sinister in a dark basement… but no, it turns out he’s not making a bladed glove or anything. He’s hanging himself.
(read the rest of this shit…)

VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.

Death Valley

Wednesday, October 31st, 2012

See, it’s a double meaning. Death Valley, like the place. That’s the location of this story. But also Death Valley. Like death, you know? I think you get it.

Slasher Search 2012 has been pretty productive in my opinion, but not in the usual area. I haven’t done good on the older slashers. I’m just looking for a pretty fun FRIDAY THE 13TH or HALLOWEEN ripoff with a few twists or odd idiosyncrasies, you know? I’m not asking for the world. But every time I find one there’s one less out there that I haven’t seen, so it’s harder every year. Anyway, this is the last of this year’s VHS rentals, might be my last shot.
(read the rest of this shit…)

VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.

Disney’s Star Wars

Wednesday, October 31st, 2012

I’m kinda hesitant to write about this on Halloween, but holy shit, that’s crazy news that George Lucas sold off all his shit to Disney for $4 billion plus and that they’re gonna make STAR WARS 7, 8 and 9 and (if people are reading this right) 1o and 11 and 12 and 13 and more every two to three years until the superstorms swallow us up.

My initial thoughts:

1. I can’t help but see this as the Nerd Empire celebrating the expression of an individual artist making the official switch to a Franchise, a Property, a Trademark. I think I read something on the internet a while back about how some people only like the earlier Star Warses, but still. It was clearly the vision of one particular guy, who took independent film far beyond what anybody else ever did. There is something about even those prequels that you hate so much that is clearly him. Nobody else could or would make movies like that, both the good parts and the bad parts. And that’s why Star Wars is special. Not because of the pajamas that you remember you had. Although I’m sure they were great. (read the rest of this shit…)

VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.

Pledge Night

Tuesday, October 30th, 2012

PLEDGE NIGHT, that could be a good slasher movie, right? It’s got “Night” in the title, that’s scary. Implies a horrific massacre that occurred on one specific date in history. And after dark. The “Pledge” part means it takes place at a college, so it’s the young people whose blood usually fuels the slashers, but not too young. Kind of adults, in a way. I don’t know.

This was the first one by director Paul Ziller. Alot of the guys who directed these types of slashers have a handful of other IMDb credits at most. This guy went on to do BLOODFIST IV, BACK IN ACTION, SHOOTFIGHTER II among other action and thriller type business. In the 2000s he’s become more of a SyFy type with SNAKEHEAD TERROR, SWARMED, BEYOND LOCH NESS, YETI: CURSE OF THE SNOW DEMON, STONEHENGE APOCALYPSE… He’s still at it, having recently done a TV remake of THE PHILADELPHIA EXPERIMENT. The script is by Joyce Snider, whose other four IMDb credits are all pornos: PUBLIC AFFAIRS and RAW TALENT I-III. (read the rest of this shit…)

VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.

Dangerous Game

Tuesday, October 30th, 2012

Here’s another one that doesn’t really fit the slasher definition I was looking for, but it’s such a better version of kind of the same premise as HIDE AND GO SHRIEK that I welcome it. This one is Australian, the directical debut of Stephen Hopkins, whose second and third films were A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET 5: THE DREAM CHILD and PREDATOR 2.

A group of Australian teens – handsome guy with convertible, girlfriend, new wave nerd, girl named Ziggy he has a crush on – plan to hang out after school. But first they have a conflict with Officer Murphy (Steven Grives), a local cop who has it out for the kid with the car. He hates him so much he shifts his car into neutral and rolls it into a no parking zone just to give him a ticket.
(read the rest of this shit…)

VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.

Be safe

Tuesday, October 30th, 2012

Just want to say I hope all our friends on the east coast are safe and well during this storm. I guess you probly got no power to check in with us, but we look forward to hearing from you again when it’s over.

VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.

Hide and Go Shriek

Monday, October 29th, 2012

“I hate all this scary stuff you guys, come on!”

This one’s from ’88 and the premise is that some kids sneak into the furniture store owned by one of their dads to have a sex party or something. So it’s like CHOPPING MALL minus the robots. As great as robots obviously are I think that could still work, but unfortunately this movie is doing nothin to support the theory.

It starts out really strange, though. There’s a dude wearing a suit and a fedora, putting on makeup, thinks he’s Joel Grey or somebody. He goes out to a weirdly stylized street, picks up a hooker, fucks her up against a brick wall, stabs her. (read the rest of this shit…)

VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.

Dolly Dearest

Sunday, October 28th, 2012

“Listen to me, I am not losing my daughter to a god damn 900 year old goat head!”

I always wanted to see this movie because I thought it was funny that they thought it was worth making a rip-off of CHILD’S PLAY but the killer doll is a girl. As if the very femaleness of the killer doll would change everything, because of the daily challenges a woman faces that are different from a man, or whatever.

Well, I really didn’t need to see this. I don’t necessarily feel like I’ve gained anything.
(read the rest of this shit…)

VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.

The Pool

Saturday, October 27th, 2012

THE POOL is from 2001 and is one of these slick studio style slasher movies that came out because of SCREAM. I guess Australia got CUT and Europe got THE POOL. (I’m giving it to the whole continent because it’s got British stars, takes place in Prague, and is a German production). It’s another whodunit slasher, with the unknown killer in a skeleton mask and all black clothes stalking a group of rich kids who’ve broken into some rich person’s extravagant swimming facility for an after-hours graduation party.

The opening is definitely modeled after the Drew Barrymore section of SCREAM, but instead of a teenager home alone it’s a rich lady preparing for a dinner party. And she’s more with-it than Drew: she goes right to the shotgun, and knows how to use it. But not well enough, obviously.
(read the rest of this shit…)

VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.